Li Ting (tennis, born 1980)

Li Ting (Chinese: 李婷; pinyin: Lǐ Tíng; born 5 January 1980) is a Chinese former professional tennis player. She won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in women's doubles alongside Sun Tiantian.

Li Ting
李婷
Country (sports) China
ResidenceHubei
Born (1980-01-05) 5 January 1980 (age 40)
Wuhan, Hubei
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro1996
Retired2007
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$383,259
Singles
Career record139–103
Career titles0 WTA, 3 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 136 (28 February 2005)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open1R (2005, 2006)
French OpenQ2 (2006)
WimbledonQ1 (2004, 2006)
US OpenQ1 (2005, 2006)
Doubles
Career record274–109
Career titles9 WTA, 26 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 19 (4 October 2004)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open3R (2004, 2005, 2006)
French OpenQF (2005)
Wimbledon1R (2004, 2006)
US Open3R (2005)

EducationEdit

She graduated from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 2002.

CareerEdit

As a doubles player, Li has enjoyed great success, winning 26 ITF titles and a further seven WTA titles by March 2006.

She competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics, defeating Spain to win a gold medal in the women's tennis doubles along with her partner Sun Tiantian.

As a singles player, Li enjoyed limited success in ITF events until June 2000, when she qualified for a WTA tournament at Tashkent, then defeated Alina Jidkova of Russia in the first round of the main draw, before bowing out in Round Two. As a wildcard entrant to the WTA event at Shanghai that September, she lost in three sets to Tara Snyder in the first round. Without further success for the rest of the year, she ended world-ranked 325, beating her previous personal best of 347 at the end of 1998.

A year of indifferent results at lowly ITF level followed in 2001, but in September she came through qualifying with three straight wins to reach Shanghai again, beating countrywoman Liu Nannan in the final round, only to lose to Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy in the main draw. But this achievement was not enough to prevent her world ranking from dropping to 536 by the year's end.

2002 was a poorer year still for Li Ting in singles, as she failed to qualify for Shanghai and won only one match in just four ITF tournaments entered, leading her year-end ranking to slump to 837.

In 2003, she audaciously attempted to buck this trend by boldly entering qualifying for several WTA Tour events while shunning the ITF circuit altogether, and managed to win her first round qualifying ties at Hyderabad, Bali and Shanghai, but failed to progress further until the Japan Open in late September, for which she qualified with wins over Ivana Abramović and Yan Zi, before being easily beaten by Shinobu Asagoe of Japan in the main draw first round. Frustrated with her lack of progress at WTA level, she retreated into ITF territory, and met with some success at the $50,000 Paducah tournament in October, where she gained main draw entry as a lucky loser in qualifying, then reached the quarter-final before losing to Zheng Jie in three sets. Following this result, she was awarded wild-cards into two further $50,000 tournaments, but won just one match at the second. Still, she had pulled her world ranking back up inside the top 500, to No. 436.

In 2004, as if from nowhere, Li Ting's WTA career took off. She qualified for Doha with wins over Shikha Uberoi and future stars Mara Santangelo and Maret Ani, then defeated Els Callens in the main draw first round before losing in straight sets to Jennifer Capriati despite forcing a tie-break in the first set. In May, she proved this superb performance was no accident by qualifying for her second successive WTA tournament, this time defeating Martina Müller, Mervana Jugić-Salkić and Michaela Paštiková, all very capable top-150 players, in straight sets, then stunned Iveta Benešová 6–4, 6–1 in the main draw first round before being downed in three sets by Jelena Kostanić in Round 2. She competed little over the summer, but entered qualifying for Beijing in September, beating Martina Suchá in the first round before losing to her on-form countrywoman Li Na. At Guangzhou, she was awarded a wildcard to the main draw, and proved she deserved it by advancing to the semi-final with easy straight-sets victories over Anikó Kapros, Nicole Pratt and (most impressively of all) Peng Shuai, only to lose again to her former long-time doubles partner (and the eventual tournament champion) Li Na. In October, she entered the first $50k Shenzhen tournament, and again impressed in reaching the quarter-finals after a first-round win over Yan Zi, before losing two matches later to Sun Tiantian. Li Ting ended the year in the top 400 for the first time since 2000, and in the top 300 for the first time in her career, world-ranked 168, after a vastly improved season.

January 2005 saw Li Ting qualify for her first Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open, with notable wins over Laura Pous Tió and Sandra Kloesel; and she took a set from Marta Domachowska of Poland in the main draw first round but lost the match. In February, she won another three back-to-back matches to qualify for Hyderabad, but then lost to upcoming starlet Jarmila Gajdošová in the first round of the tournament proper. At Doha, she reached the final round of qualifying with wins over Zheng Jie and Anca Barna, then lost to Roberta Vinci. At Dubai, she took Maria Kirilenko to three sets, two of them tie-breaks, in an unfortunate first-round qualifying draw which she ultimately lost. But by the end of February she had improved her world-ranking to a career-best 136.

Unfortunately for Li Ting, her results at WTA events then took a downward turn for the next six months. Although she battled through to win a $50k event at Beijing in June, defeating Yan Zi surprisingly comfortably in the final, this career-best tournament victory was a blip on the radar of her disappointing summer results at WTA tournaments. In September, however, she came close to qualifying for Beijing, beating Martina Müller before losing to Emma Laine in three sets. Then at Guangzhou, she reached the quarterfinal with excellent wins over Vera Zvonareva and Alina Jidkova, then very nearly reached the semifinal for the second successive year, as she pushed eventual finalist Nuria Llagostera Vives all the way before finally losing their joust 6–3, 4–6, 6–7. But after this, she did not play again for the rest of the year, and ended it ranked 177th, down almost forty places on her peak.

2006 began promisingly enough for Li Ting, as she qualified for January's Australian Open for the second successive year, only to lose this time to the inspired young Russian star Elena Vesnina. She also impressed in qualifying for Doha, Qatar in February, with wins over Yan Zi and Tatiana Poutchek; but Maria Kirilenko, now ranked in the world top 30, once again proved the more capable player as they met in the first round of the main draw, defeating Li Ting in straight sets. Her ranking had slipped to 209 by the end of the month; but she has proven that she is capable of competing with players of top 100 calibre, and provided that she herself has the will to persist, tennis supporters can confidently expect to see plenty more fireworks from this talented 26-year-old doubles specialist in singles events before she calls time on her career.

In 2007, Li stopped partnering with fellow countrywomen Sun Tiantian, to make room for a new Chinese doubles player, Sun Shengnan was paired with Sun Tiantian, according to the 2007 Australian Open website.

Olympic finalsEdit

Doubles: 1 (gold medal)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Gold 2004 Athens Hard   Sun Tiantian   Conchita Martínez
  Virginia Ruano
6–3, 6–3

WTA career finalsEdit

Doubles: 14 (10 titles, 4 runner-ups)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam (0/0)
Olympic Games (1/0)
Tier I (0/0)
Tier II (0/1)
Tier III (4/0)
Tier IV (5/3)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1. June 18, 2000 Tashkent Open, Uzbekistan Hard   Li Na   Iroda Tulyaganova
  Anna Zaporozhanova
3–6, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 2. 14 June 2003 Austrian Open, Austria Clay   Sun Tiantian   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1. 12 October 2003 Tashkent Open, Uzbekistan Hard   Sun Tiantian   Yuliya Beygelzimer
  Tatiana Poutchek
3–6, 6–7(0–7)
Winner 3. 2 November 2003 Bell Challenge, Canada Hard(i)   Sun Tiantian   Els Callens
  Meilen Tu
6–3, 6–3
Winner 4. 9 November 2003 Pattaya Open, Thailand Hard   Sun Tiantian   Wynne Prakusya
  Angelique Widjaja
6–4, 6–3
Runner-up 2. 22 February 2004 Bangalore Open, India Hard   Sun Tiantian   Liezel Huber
  Sania Mirza
6–7(1–7), 4–6
Winner 5. 22 August 2004 Olympic Games Hard   Sun Tiantian   Conchita Martínez
  Virginia Ruano Pascual
6–3, 6–3
Winner 6. 3 October 2004 Guangzhou Open, China Hard   Sun Tiantian   Yang Shujing
  Yu Ying
6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 3. 12 February 2005 Bangalore Open, India Hard   Sun Tiantian   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
4–6, 1–6
Winner 7. 1 May 2005 Estoril Open, Portugal Clay   Sun Tiantian   Michaëlla Krajicek
  Henrieta Nagyová
6–3, 6–1
Winner 8. 12 February 2006 Pattaya Open, Thailand Hard   Sun Tiantian   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
3–6, 6–1, 7–6(7–5)
Runner-up 4. 4 March 2006 Doha Open, Qatar Hard   Sun Tiantian   Daniela Hantuchová
  Ai Sugiyama
4–6, 4–6
Winner 9. 7 May 2006 Estoril Open, Portugal Clay   Sun Tiantian   Gisela Dulko
  María Sánchez Lorenzo
6–2, 6–2
Winner 10. 1 October 2006 Guangzhou Open, China Hard   Sun Tiantian   Vania King
  Jelena Kostanić Tošić
6–4, 2–6, 7–5

ITF Circuit finalsEdit

Singles: 3 (3–0)Edit

$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 19 September 1999 Ibaraki, Japan Hard   Kate Warne-Holland 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
Winner 2. 26 September 1999 Tokyo, Japan Hard   Orawan Wongkamalasai 6-0, 3-6, 6-0
Winner 3. 12 June 2005 Beijing, China Hard   Yan Zi 6-1, 6-3

Doubles: 37 (26–11)Edit

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1. 10 November 1997 Manila, Philippines Hard   Ding Ding   Khoo Chin-bee
  Weng Tzu-ting
7–5, 6–3
Winner 2. 2 March 1998 New Delhi, India Hard   Ding Ding   Motoe Uchida
  Qin Yang
6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 3. 10 May 1998 Seoul, South Korea Clay   Ding Ding   Cho Yoon-jeong
  Park Sung-hee
1–6, 6–3, 2–6
Runner-up 4. 7 June 1998 Little Rock, United States Hard   Li Li   Keiko Ishida
  Keiko Nagatomi
5–7, 1–6
Winner 5. 13 June 1999 Shenzhen, China Hard   Li Na   Liza Andriyani
  Irawati Iskandar
6–1, 6–3
Winner 6. 21 June 1999 Shenzhen, China Hard   Li Na   Chung Yang-jin
  Lee Eun-jeong
6–3, 6–1
Winner 7. 15 August 1999 Rebecq, Belgium Clay   Li Na   Natasha Galouza
  Maaike Koutstaal
6–1, 6–4
Winner 8. 22 August 1999 Koksijde, Belgium Clay   Li Na   Rewa Hudson
  Shelley Stephens
6–3, 6–2
Winner 9. 29 August 1999 Westende, Belgium Clay   Li Na   Natasha Galouza
  Anouk Sterk
7–6(5), 6–2
Winner 10. 19 September 1999 Ibaraki, Japan Clay   Li Na   Mareze Joubert
  Kate Warne-Holland
7–6(4), 6–3
Winner 11. 26 September 1999 Tokyo, Japan Clay   Li Na   Maki Arai
  Kumiko Iijima
6–2, 6–1
Winner 12. 12 December 1999 Manila, Philippines Hard   Li Na   Haruka Inoue
  Maiko Inoue
6–3, 6–2
Winner 13. 10 January 2000 Boca Raton, United States Hard   Maiko Inoue   Olga Blahotová
  Gabriela Chmelinová
4–6, 6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 14. 17 January 2000 Boca Raton, United States Hard   Li Na   Sandra Cacic
  Lindsay Lee-Waters
4–6, 5–7
Winner 15. 30 January 2000 Hallandale, United States Hard   Li Na   Jean Okada
  Hana Šromová
6–3, 7–5
Winner 16. 28 February 2000 Chengdu City, China Hard   Li Na   Joana Cortez
  Katalin Marosi
6–1, 6–3
Winner 17. 26 March 2000 Nanjing, China Hard   Li Na   Chae Kyung-yee
  Ryoko Takemura
7–6(4), 6–1
Winner 18. 2 April 2000 Nanjing, China Hard   Li Na   Ding Ding
  Lin Ya-ming
6–1, 7–6
Winner 19. 23 April 2000 Dalian, China Hard   Li Na   Chang Kyung-mi
  Satoko Kurioka
7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 20. 14 May 2000 Seoul, South Korea Clay   Li Na   Shinobu Asagoe
  Saori Obata
1–6, 3–6
Runner-up 21. 28 May 2000 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Hard   Li Na   Cho Yoon-jeong
  Saori Obata
1–6, 2–6
Runner-up 22. 4 June 2000 Shenzhen, China Hard   Li Na   Kim Eun-ha
  Saori Obata
1–6, 3–6
Winner 23. 2 July 2000 Orbetello, Italy Clay   Li Na   Joana Cortez
  Miriam D'Agostini
6–3, 7–6(3)
Runner-up 23. 4 June 2001 Shenzhen, China Hard   Lui-Li Shen   Liu Nannan
  Peng Shuai
4-6, 1-6
Winner 24. 29 July 2001 Guangzhou, China Hard   Tong Ka-po   Chen Yan
  Sun Tiantian
7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 25. 21 April 2002 Cagliari, Italy Clay   Li Na   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
4–6, 0–6
Winner 26. 11 August 2002 Beijing, China Hard   Sun Tiantian   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
7-5, 6-3
Winner 27. 23 February 2003 Columbus, United States Hard (i)   Sun Tiantian   Bruna Colósio
  Joana Cortez
6–3, 6–1
Winner 28. 2 March 2003 Saint Paul, United States Hard   Sun Tiantian   Teryn Ashley
  Abigail Spears
6-3, 6-1
Winner 29. 30 March 2003 Atlanta, United States Hard   Sun Tiantian   Leanne Baker
  Francesca Lubiani
4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Runner-up 30. 16 June 2003 Gorizia, Italy Clay   Sun Tiantian   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
6-7(5), 6-1, 4-6
Winner 31. 23 June 2003 Fontanafredda, Italy Clay   Sun Tiantian   Maria Geznenge
  Dragana Zarić
6–4, 6–3
Runner-up 32. 30 June 2003 Orbetello, Italy Clay   Sun Tiantian   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
2-6, 5-7
Winner 33. 13 July 2003 Modena, Italy Clay   Sun Tiantian   Rika Fujiwara
  Trudi Musgrave
3–6, 7–5, 7–5
Winner 34. 30 November 2003 Changsha, China Hard   Sun Tiantian   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
6-4, 6-2
Winner 35. 7 December 2003 Shenzhen, China Hard   Sun Tiantian   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Runner-up 36. 6 June 2005 Beijing, China Hard   Sun Tiantian   Yan Zi
  Zheng Jie
1-6, 5-7
Winner 37. 16 August 2005 Bronx, United States Hard   Sun Tiantian   Tatiana Poutchek
  Anastasiya Yakimova
2–6, 6–2, 6–4

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit